College graduation gift ideas you should be hinting for from parents and grandparents

Pebble E-Paper Watch

Pebble E-Paper Watch (© Pebble Technology)

Ah graduation, a time for thinking of the future, sure, but also a time for gifts! Every soon-to-be-grad knows they can count on Mom and Dad or their grandparents to recognize the occasion with a special present or memento. Why not celebrate years of student success and be prepared with some hints or suggestions to get your family pointed in the right direction to encourage your big launch into the professional world.

The fun

Forget what you may need for a moment, what do you want? You may be about to graduate from college, but it doesn’t mean you still don’t like your “toys.”

Beyond smartphones and tablets, check out these tech gadgets you just might like to have to fit in with a new crew of colleagues:

Want some more home-based, adult college graduation gift ideas? How about your own super adult espresso machine? You can tell mom and dad that it’s a practical gift, saving you tons at the local coffee shop, but let’s be honest, it’s just plain cool to brew up your own cappuccino or latte.

The fancy

Nothing says how proud the family is more than a gift of jewelry, right? Even guys can jump on this bandwagon, say with a really fab watch or even some nice cufflinks if their future job requires them to suit up. There are tons of items that offer inspirational messages as well those that make lovely college graduation gift ideas. The College Prep blog offers several examples, including GK Designs bracelets and a necklace from Dogeared in an April 8, 2012 post, “Graduation Gifts.”

Don’t be afraid to drop a few hints to the folks, “Hey, Mom, a nice strand of pearls is always an appropriate workplace accessory” or “Dad, I sure do love how professional your watch looks, it would be great to have one like it.” Maybe don’t use those exact words, but you get the picture.

The functional

Life after college is going to require some big changes. For instance, your wardrobe may need some sprucing up. Your friends and family can get you dressing the part with a store gift card. Think Banana Republic, J.Crew or Brooks Brothers to get you attired in style for your job search or your first day in the office.

Other functional items that make great college graduation gifts include a polished, new wallet, a chic, stylish briefcase or tote, or even a proper leather portfolio. All will impress future employers and keep you organized as you enter the adult world. And they sure beat the banged up messenger bag that has contained your life for the last four years.

Maybe you need some suggestions for a friend or family member on a budget? The Daily Party Dish offers a list of practical, yet economical gifts that can benefit any grad in its March 27, 2012 post “Graduation Gift Ideas: College Survival Kit.” Items on the list include:

  • Cookbooks
  • Quarters (for laundry)
  • A tool kit
  • A sewing kit
  • Ear plugs (for that noisy apartment-mate)

Just because something isn’t high-dollar, doesn’t mean it won’t make an ideal college graduation gift and save you in a pinch.

The personal

Lots of parents and families like to mark the occasion of your graduation with a personalized gift. Again, The College Prep has some great college graduation gift suggestions you might want to share with your family (or even give to your fellow graduating friends) — from monogrammed May Books to a monogrammed phone case to a self-inking address stamper to help make writing all those thank you notes a bit easier.

So, even if your parents don’t spring for the all-expenses paid getaway to some tropical island, that doesn’t mean they aren’t proud of all you’ve accomplished.

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